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For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

It’s a good thing to remember that this isn’t the first time in the history of the world that it seems like the world is turning inside out. Any culture, including ours, that rids itself of the healthy values that allowed the creation of that culture to begin with is headed toward big trouble.

We appear to be living in a time of great upheaval whether you’re talking about the moral and ethical values that are turning upside down, or the economy, or families, or marriages, or the educational system, you can fill in the blank ___________with another rapidly changing foundational value of our culture. But, as believers, as disciples of Christ, we have been instructed by God that no matter how bad things may be or seem to be, even in what you might think is a decaying culture, you and I can make it...and even flourish through His grace and power.

Think back with me for a moment to the life of a 15 year old prisoner of war who was uprooted from his homeland, never to see his family, his parents, his friends, and his homeland again. A young man who would actually spend the rest of his life in a culture that was hostile, that didn’t believe what he believed, that sought to replace his godly values with pagan values through educational reprogramming, a new language, new food, and to top it all off, just to make sure that there are no remnants of your past, of the old way of doing things, they give you a new name. Happened in the life of Daniel.

What an amazing record we have in the book of Daniel as it reveals what happened in the life of a young man of 15 who not only succeeded in life and flourished in his walk with the Lord but lived a life of adventure, political intrigue, and spiritual growth for the roughly seventy years that we have recorded for us. He became one of the greatest prophets we have revealed to us in the Scripture. He got promoted five times. He outlasted three different governmental administrations of two different cultures and led two of the emperors of those administrations to faith in God. All the while, he was living his faith and demonstrating himself to be a man of integrity and trust. WOW! ALL IN A HOSTILE CULTURE!

He did it, and if your world seems to be under siege, if things seem to be changing too rapidly, it you live in a hostile culture where people don’t believe what you believe and are intolerant of your beliefs, you can make it too and actually flourish...when you trust the Lord like he did.

He wasn’t surprised with what was happening in his world, why the prophets who preached the Word of God in the streets as he was growing up continually warned the people of Israel that if they didn’t get their spiritual act together things were going to change big time...and they did. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylonia, destroyed Jerusalem, defeated the Israelites, and took 25% of the population back to Babylonia to be enslaved. And Daniel was one of those captured and enslaved.

It really helps to deal with the world you live in when you know the truth, that in this broken world there are going to be sufferings, trials, tribulations and real difficulties. When you accept that instead of being blown over by them you can seize upon the truth of God’s Word and overcome them. That’s what Daniel did and that’s what you and I can do. He knew what it was to live long and prosper way before Gene Roddenberry of Star Trek fame even had an inkling of a pointy ear Vulcan and you can stand strong and prosper, because your faith will empower you to overcome and be at peace....PEACE!

We shouldn’t be surprised at what happens in this broken world of ours. We’re not living in heaven yet, where there is no sorrow, no tears, no suffering; we live on planet earth, where bad things happen. Instead of asking, “Why me?” We might want to ask “Why not me?” We live on broken earth. After all, the Scripture has given us ample warning and instruction of how to deal with it, even as Daniel. A test is a really good thing...when you pass it...when you don’t...you just keep getting the same test over and over.


Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to TEST YOU, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:12-17 (ESV)

Along with the truth, God gives us the truth that sets us free. We can trust in Him and have peace...yep, peace, and we can flourish, even in a hostile environment. God can make good of bad stuff that happens.

“ I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (ESV)

Take heart...it’s happened before...and it’s been overcome...we see it in the life of Daniel. Be strong, don’t be surprised...and keep on trusting...and you will overcome too. Live long...and prosper...no matter what.

 

Posted by Ralph Sawyer with
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The mission of Kenpo Christian is to glorify God by leading people to become dedicated followers of the teaching of Jesus Christ, using martial arts training in the Art of American Kenpo Karate and spiritual training based on the holy word of God as presented in the Bible.

The style of martial arts taught is American Kenpo Karate. American Kenpo Karate or the Parker System of Kenpo Karate is a system of martial arts commercialized by Ed Parker, characterized by the use of quick moves in rapid-fire succession. The multitude of fast strikes, sometimes criticized by other arts, has a dual purpose. The strikes may overwhelm an opponent but more importantly, the various strikes demonstrate to the practitioner that there are many options should the technique not work as planned, and should the initial strikes miss some will not. Ed Parker stated that this training was not intended for “overkill,” but rather “over skill”. It is largely marketed as a self-defense system, and is derived from traditional Japanese martial arts and other martial arts such as Southern Chinese Kung Fu found in the cultural melting pot of Hawaii.

A typical Kenpo Christian class consists of opening and closing prayers, warm-ups, self-defense training, forms practice and sparring. In addition to teaching punches and kicks Kenpo Christian focuses also on character talks such as “Dealing with Feeling Mad” or “The Three Steps of Listening” but more importantly during class times Christian testimonies on important topics such as “Keeping Commitments” and “Consequences to our Actions” are given by Kenpo Christian Instructors and by special guest speakers such as First Baptist Church Wentzville Associate Minister of Students, Alec Erhart. All students both young and not so young are encouraged and empowered by the martial arts training, Christian fellowship and powerful testimonies. This produces a group of people that are not only to defend themselves physically but also prepared spiritually and mentally for the challenges of this world.

Kenpo Christian was formed on the belief that God did not intend anyone to be someone else’s punching bag, verbally or physically. As stated in Psalm 144:1 “Blessed be the lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle”, God never intended us to be weak or passive in regards to our spiritual view or allow ourselves to be victimized by those would seek to harm us. God intended us to fight for ourselves, our families and God. Furthermore, God wants us ready always for battle, both physical and spiritual. By training in the martial arts, and hearing the testimony of powerful Christian holy warriors, we are forged into powerful and battle ready soldiers for Christ. Ready and able to stand up and speak out or fight for God, not matter the situation before them.

What is in the future for Kenpo Christian? Whatever God deems fit. But more specifically we plan to hold several Women’s Self Defense classes, a Bully Buster seminar and the continued growth of our student body.

Contact Information:

Michael Deslongchamps, Senior Head Instructor

573-205-0873

www.kenpochristian.com

 

Posted by Michael Deslongchamps with

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